The PGA stays overseas this week, for The 2019 CJ Cup at Nine Bridges (par 72, 7,196 yards) in Jeje Island, South Korea. This is only the second year this tournament has been part of The PGA schedule and Justin Thomas won last season, beating Marc Leishman in a playoff. Just like last week, this is another no cut event, but Nine Bridges is a much tougher course than TPC Kuala Lumpur. JT finished at only eight strokes under par and the last four golfers in the standings all shot 20+.
The par fives are without question the easiest holes to score. A year ago, Leishman ranked 1st and Thomas ranked 3rd in scoring on these four holes. Plus, they both were top five in average putts per round and total birdies. With no shot tracker again and only one year of course history, I think it is a smart move to primarily focus on the main stats of fantasy golf, (SGT2G, BOB%, BS) with scoring on par fives, being the holes to concentrate on. @Hunta512.
Hideki Matsuyama: (10,400)
After an up and down start to the year, Matsuyama closed out The 2018 season on a high note. He made his final seven cuts, with five top 15s in his last five, including a pair of T4s, with one at The Dell Technologies Championship, and one at The Tour Championship.
In those five starts, he gained an elite 6.5 total strokes per start and ranked in the top six in each of these stats. (SGT2G, SG APP, GIR, BS, BOB%, SG on P4s, and SG on P5s) Plus, he has gained strokes putting in three of those five starts (31st in SGP), which is a significant improvement for him. Even though he didn’t make the trip to South Korea last year, I think Matsuyama is a lock for a top ten this weekend.
Kevin Na: (8,100)
Na’s T19 at The CIMB Classic was his fifth top 25 in his last six tournaments. He was scorching hot with his irons at TPC Kuala Lumpur, ranking 2nd in greens hit. (88.9%) This was the fourth of his last six events that he has gained over 6.5 strokes total. In their last 24 rounds of golf, none of these golfers have been gaining more strokes with their putter than Na. Plus, he has been great on par fours (5th in SG on P4s) and as a DraftKings scorer. (8th in BOB% and 10th in DK points)
His T44 here a year ago isn’t anything to brag about, but form leading into that week doesn’t even come close to his current game. Prior to last year’s CJ Cup, Na had finishes of T53, T37, and T44 in that order, compared to the three straight top 25 streak he is currently riding. Na is very safe target, that should get you at least a top 30.
Joaquin Niemann: (7,600)
Plain and simple, Niemann is mispriced this week. This is only the second time in his last eight events, that the sophomore from Chile costs under $8,900 on DraftKings. He didn’t have the best showing at The Safeway Open two weeks ago (MDF), but this was his ninth made cut in his last ten starts, with two top 25s, and three top tens coming in this stretch. (4.0 SGT) If we put all of these golfers last 50 rounds side by side, Niemann ranks second, only to Justin Thomas in my model. He is an elite tee to green player (4th in SGT2G, 3rd in SG APP, 2nd in GIR, 1st in BS) and the #1 birdie maker during this time.
He’s also been decent with the flat stick (37th in SGP) and on both par fours and fives. (14th in SG on P4s and 15th in SG on P5s) This will be the 19th year old’s debut at Nine Bridges, but he is still seeing solid odds to win this week. (40/1 via Bovada) In fact, he has the 16th best odds in the field, but is the 31st highest priced player on the board. To look at this from another angle, Niemann has the same odds as Byeong-Hun An, but costs $1,100 less. With no cut line to stress about, Niemann is a plug and play value at this low salary.
Justin Thomas: (11,700)
Again, JT is a very heavy favorite. Even in this stronger field, he currently has a 15.4% chance of winning over Brooks Koepka, who is second, at 11.1%. JT’s fourth round 64 pushed him up the leaderboard this past Sunday, resulting in a T5 at The CIMB Classic, which is his fifth top ten in his last seven starts. Even at the highest price tag available, you should have some exposure to the defending champ in GPPs.
Gary Woodland: (9,100)
Woodland’s impressive T5 at The CIMB Classic was his seventh top 25 in his last eight. In his last four starts, his finishes have improved each week and he is averaging 5.4 total strokes gained in this run. When it comes to these player’s last 24 rounds, he ranks 5th in my model, ranking in the top ten in all of, SGT2G, SG APP, BS, SG on P5s, and DK points. Coming in hot, Woodland should easily top his T40 at this course a year ago.
Kyle Stanley: (8,200)
Three top 15s in last four starts. Last week, at The CIMB Classic, he finished T13, while gaining 7.6 strokes, and ranking T8 in par five scoring. He put up a T19 at Nine Bridges last season and another top 20 is certainly possible from Stanley in this form.
Stewart Cink: (7,000)
Started the season with a T13 at The CIMB Classic and now has six top 25s in his last nine events. His stats have been impressive, ranking T15 or better in SGT2G, SG APP, GIR, BS, SG on P4s, and DK points in his last 24 rounds. He did solid here last year, with a T33, and it could have been much better, if he didn’t putt and ugly 33 PPR. If he can put together a better week on these greens, Cink has top 25 upside.
Jamie Lovemark: (6,800)
Last year, Lovemark was excellent at Nine Bridges, with a T5 performance and he has made nine of his last 11 cuts. His game is very unpredictable, but with four rounds of golf guaranteed (barring an injury or WD), Lovemark is worth a dart at this price. He currently has the second best odds to win for players under $7,000. (100/1 via Bovada)
*Please note that most of these rankings are from Fantasynational.com